photo-article-logo Saturday, 09 December 2023

News of the day: PM Modi flags off nine Vande Bharat trains, Rahul Gandhi exudes confidence in winning upcoming assembly polls and more

Here are the latest developments from India and abroad

Our Web Desk Published 24.09.23, 05:43 PM
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it was unfortunate that earlier not much attention was given to modernising Indian railways and asserted that his government was working for its transformation.

Modi made the remarks in his address before flagging off nine Vande Bharat trains connecting religious and tourist destinations across 11 states. The nine trains will provide faster connectivity across 11 states -- Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat.

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Exuding confidence about a good showing in the upcoming assembly polls, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that as of now the Congress is certainly winning Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, probably winning Telangana, and there is a "very close" contest in Rajasthan which the party believes it will emerge victorious in.

Gandhi also referred to the row over BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's derogatory remarks against BSP leader Danish Ali in Lok Sabha, alleging that the BJP indulges in such tactics to distract from the demand for a caste census.

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Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar demanding urgent action over the incident of "political sloganeeirng" by a group of people sitting in the visitor's gallery of the Upper House on September 21, sources said.

Ramesh, who is the Congress' chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, expressed "grave concern" and "deep disappointment" regarding the "shocking incident" in the Upper House on September 21 during the just-concluded special session. A group of people sitting in the visitor's gallery was heard sloganeering and creating a ruckus in the precincts of the House, Ramesh said in his letter, according to sources.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has accused the BJP of putting obstacles such as delimitation in implementing the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Alleging that the BJP has displayed its hypocrisy by putting barriers like delimitation, the chief minister said, "This bill was a fraud done to women." The bill, named as 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ was passed in the Lok Sabha on September 20 and was cleared by the Rajya Sabha a day later. The bill will grant reservations to women on one-third of seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

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Pulling up the Calcutta Municipal Corporation for its alleged “inaction”, the Calcutta High Court has stepped in to do its bit in restoring the lost glory of the Oberoi Grand Arcade, a British-era landmark in the heart of Chowringhee in central Calcutta, and remove encroachers from the heritage site.

In an interim order passed by Justice Amrita Sinha on Friday, one that could have far-reaching implications in clearing the Arcade overrun by hawkers and vendors, most of whom illegally occupy the pavement, the court directed the corporation “to file a report with regard to the steps taken to keep the pavement free for pedestrians.”

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The chances of participation of the three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh, who were denied entry by the Chinese government for the Asian Games, are as good as over.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), though, on Sunday said that it was still looking into the matter. The denial of visa by China to Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu had led to Sports Minister Anurag Thakur cancelling his visit to Hangzhou for the continental showpiece as a mark of protest.

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The Reserve Bank is likely to maintain status quo on policy rates for the fourth time in a row at its bi-monthly monetary policy review meeting early next month, as retail inflation continues to remain high and the US Federal Reserve has decided to keep a hawkish stance for some more time, according to experts.

The Reserve Bank had raised the benchmark repo rate to 6.5 per cent on February 8, 2023 and since then it has retained the rates at the same level in view of the stubbornly high retail inflation and certain global factors including elevated crude oil prices in the international market.

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Professor Brinda Bhowmik was appointed the dean of academics at NIT-Silchar, replacing BK Roy, after a week-long protest on the campus over a student's suicide, officials said on Sunday.

Bhowmik, a professor in the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, has been appointed as the Dean (Academics) with effect from September 25, according to a notification.

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The Assam Rifles has written to the Manipur Police, stating that many trucks in Kakching district have been painted in camouflage colours with insignia of the paramilitary force, resembling their vehicles, an official said on Sunday.

In a letter written to the Churachandpur Superintendent of Police, the paramilitary force claimed that some men with the help of valley-based insurgent groups (VBIGs) have acquired many trucks from markets and converted them to ones resembling the vehicles used by the Assam Rifles by painting and putting the insignia of the force.

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Relief work began in full swing on Sunday in Nagpur after extremely heavy rains a day earlier caused flooding in most parts, leading to water gushing into at least 10,000 homes, officials said here.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the city received 109 millimetres of rain in three hours, including 90 mm between 2am and 4am on Saturday. The Ambazari Lake, the city's largest such waterbody, and the Nag river breached their boundaries, leading to severe flooding all through Saturday.

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